Universe: Many-Worlds

April 21, 2009, 8:44 pm
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Developed by Hugh Everett, III and his Ph.D. thesis advisor, John Wheeler ca. 1957, the idea of a "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics results from interpreting the wave function as not collapsing when a quantum system is observed. Instead, the observer is "split" into two states representing the binary outcome of the observation. The consequence is that there are now two worldlines, and so two universes: One in which the outcome was "true" and one in which the outcome was "false." This multiplicity of observers spawns whenever a quantum interaction takes place, leads to a multiplicity of "universes."

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Odenwald, Sten, Ph.D. (Contributing Author); Bernard Haisch (Topic Editor). 2009. "Universe: Many-Worlds." In: Encyclopedia of the Cosmos. Eds. Bernard Haisch and Joakim F. Lindblom (Redwood City, CA: Digital Universe Foundation). [First published February 14, 2008].




(2009). Universe: Many-Worlds. Retrieved from


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